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Editor's note: Fifteen sea bass at 12 1/2 inches was the limit last year from Oct. 22-Dec. 31.

From an email from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission:


ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Board Approves Scup Addendum XXIX & Finalizes 2017 Black Sea Bass
Recreational Management Measures

Alexandria, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board approved Addendum XXIX to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. The Addendum shortens the length of the commercial scup summer period and extends the length of the winter II period (Table 1).

Table 1. New Quota Periods approved in Addendum XXIX

Winter I

January 1-April 30 (120 days)


May 1- September 30 (153 days)

Winter II

October 1-December 31 (92 days)



This action seeks to allow for the better utilization of the commercial quota, which has been under-harvested since 2011. Specifically, the change in quota period length allows for higher possession limits for a longer period of time each year, thus increasing the likelihood the commercial fishery will fully harvest the quota. The quota allocation for each period remains unchanged. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) also took the same action through Framework 10. The Council will forward its recommendation to NOAA Fisheries for final approval. The Board and Council’s action will not affect the 2017 quota period start and end dates; these changes will likely be implemented for 2018 commercial quota. The Addendum will be finalized and available on the Commission website, www.asmfc.org (on the Scup webpage), within the next few weeks.

The Board also reviewed the final 2016 black sea bass recreational harvest estimates and considered changes to current measures to meet the 2017 RHL. Based on the performance of the 2016 fishery, which indicated a reduction is needed to stay within the 2017 RHL, the Board set the possession limit for wave 6 (November/December 2017) at five fish in state waters from Rhode Island through New Jersey. All other state measures remain unchanged from 2016.

For more information, please contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at krootes-murdy@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.      


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